"Street lights are an important part of our urban infrastructure — they light our way home and make the roads safe at night. But what if we could create natural street lights that don’t need electricity to power them? A group of scientists in Taiwan recently discovered that placing gold nanoparticles within the leaves of trees, causes them to give off a luminous reddish glow.
Flexible gadgets are undeniably sexy – but Japanese electronics giant Sony wasn’t content stopping there. For their newest display, they decided to also throw in ultra-thinness (just 80μm or a bit thinner than a human hair) and the energy-saving power of OLEDs into the mix. The new prototype is so bendy that it can be wrapped around a pencil. From electronic newspapers to LED garments, just think about the applications such a display could be used for!
Turns out good things really do come in small packages. Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory recently unveiled a three-inch device that can detect up to 3,000 different types of viruses and bacteria in just 24 hours.
Standard flat solar panels are only optimized to capture sunlight at one point of the sun’s trajectory — otherwise they need automated tracking systems to follow the sun. MIT power engineering professor Jeffrey Grossman has found an artful answer to this planar problem — the ancient art of origami! Grossman found that folded solar cell systems could produce constant power throughout the day and didn’t need tracking.
Land mines are currently strewn throughout 87 of the world’s countries, and each year they cause 15,000-20,000 new casualties, the vast majority of which are inflicted upon civilians. Sifting through minefields to remove these hidden threats is currently a dangerous, tedious, and expensive process, however scientists at the University of Edinburgh recently announced that they have engineered a strain of bacteria that glows green in the presence of explosives, making mine detection a snap.
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